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Grants, Awards & Fellowships

One way the Chapel supports students and the wider Duke community in bridging faith and learning is by offering grants, awards, and fellowships for purposes ranging from community service to mission trips to training in the arts.

For some awards only Duke undergraduate students are eligible; other awards are open to other members of the Duke community. See below for a list of available grants and awards.

C. Eric Lincoln Fellowship

Eligibility: Duke undergraduate students
Application deadline: January 24, 2020

The C. Eric Lincoln Fellowship is a semester-long program that 1) provides funding to an undergraduate student for a sacred art project and 2) invites the fellow to broaden the reach of artistic expression at the Duke University Chapel. Applicants must be active undergraduates in good standing in Trinity College or the Pratt School of Engineering. The fellowship runs the length of the Spring 2019 semester. The Lincoln Fellow is expected to produce a visual art exhibit to be displayed in Duke Chapel near the end of the Spring semester.

Chapel Scholars

Eligibility: Duke undergraduate students
Application deadline: November 1, 2019

Chapel Scholars provides opportunities for students to hear and respond to God’s call for their lives on campus, in Durham, and beyond, through study, counsel, service, artistic expression, and community. Among the many students who connect with the Chapel each year, a select group of Chapel Scholars displays a unique commitment to discerning how to connect their talents and passions to the world’s deepest needs. Chapel Scholars is an ecumenical Christian program, which means that participating students come from a wide range of Christian traditions. Many Chapel Scholar students also participate in other Religious Life groups, and are encouraged to foster a sense of cooperation and hospitality across ministry groups.

Chapel Scholars Mission Funding 

Eligibility: Chapel Scholars
Application deadlines:
  • November 5, 2019, for Winter break
  • February 3, 2020, for Spring break
  • April 6, 2020, for Summer break

Each year students who are involved in the Chapel Scholars program are eligible for up to $750 per year for mission and service trips over Fall, Winter, and Spring breaks.

Hall Award

Eligibility: Duke undergraduate students
Application deadline: Rolling

The Betty and Bob Hall Award was instituted in 2007 by trustee-emeritus A. Morris Williams, Jr. (Trinity 1962; Graduate School 1963) and his wife Ruth Whitmore Williams (Woman's College 1963) to support Duke University students’ participation in Christian-related service projects. Mr. and Mrs. Williams set up the endowment in honor of the parents of Sara Hall Brandaleone (WC 1965), whom they greatly admired. Sara and Bruce Brandaleone joined Mr. and Mrs. Williams in funding the endowment. Thanks to an endowment established by the friends of Bob and Betty Hall, the Chapel offers an annual award to a student doing Christian service work during the summer. Applications in the form of a letter that addresses the summer work and its relationship to the student’s faith expression should also include a detailed budget. The award will be approximately $3,000.

Humanitarian Service Award

Eligibility: Anyone with a Duke affiliation
Application deadline: July 19, 2019

The Chapel’s Humanitarian Service Award aims to recognize individuals with a commitment to service and simplicity. The award is inspired by the lives of two Duke professors: Dr. George R. Parkerson Jr.and the late Dr. C. Eric Lincoln. The recipient of the award receives a grant of between $1,500 and $3,000 to further humanitarian efforts. The award has its roots in a relation between two Duke professors. In 1990, religion professor, sociologist and United Methodist minister C. Eric Lincoln started the Humanitarian Service Award endowment to honor Dr. George R. Parkerson, Jr., former chairman of the Department of Community and Family Medicine at Duke’s School of Medicine. By establishing this endowment, Dr. Lincoln sought to recognize Dr. Parkerson’s “caring love and concern for humanity” and to encourage others to do the same. Both Parkerson and Lincoln have exemplified lives in service of others. Dr. Lincoln’s life was dedicated to service through reconciliation, hospitality, care, mentoring, and ecumenism. Throughout his career, Dr. Parkerson’s concern for humanity has been revealed in his work in family medicine and as he has helped his students “see life whole.” The purpose of the award is to lift up an individual who has demonstrated both a long-term commitment to serving others and a lifestyle marked by simplicity, characteristics Dr. Lincoln believed described Dr. Parkerson.

Organ Scholars

Eligibility: Open
Application deadline: Rolling

With its world-class organs, excellent choirs, and a tradition of fine sacred music, the Chapel boasts a treasure of resources found in no other educational institution in the country. As stewards of this heritage, Chapel Music has the responsibility to nurture, to teach, and to worship God using all these assets and all of the talents of its staff. To ensure Duke Chapel's great musical traditions for the future, the Organ Scholars program was created in 2015.

PathWays Fellowship

Eligibility: Recent Duke graduates
Application deadline: January 24, 2020

Bridging faith and learning does not stop with graduation.The PathWays Fellowship not only gives recent alumni the tools they need to discern their vocational and spiritual direction, but it also gives them opportunities for exploration, leadership, mentorship, service, and formation deeply rooted in the local community and their Christian traditions. This is a one-year residential discernment program designed specifically for recent Duke graduates.

Religious Life Group Funding

Eligibility: Duke Religious Life staff members
Application deadline: Rolling

Applications are made by Religious Life Staff members on behalf of their group. The funds are to be used in support of the mission and goals of the group. This funding is not intended to fund whole programs or as a guaranteed piece of any group’s budget. The fund is available to any program recognized by the office of Religious Life. Groups without a Religious Life staff person may seek approval from the Director of Religious Life.

Religious Life Mission Trip Funding

Eligibility: Designate Leaders of Duke Religious Life groups
Application deadlines:
  • September 27, 2019
  • November 1, 2019
  • January 31, 2020
  • March 20, 2020

As designee of the Chapel dean, the Religious Life Staff Mission Funding Committee is responsible for reviewing applications for religious life mission funds. Applications submitted on-time will be given a thorough review. All trips must meet at least one of the following by being a sign of God’s love in the world by: sharing the Good News in word and/or deed; establishing respectful relationships with the group or organization engaged by the mission; or responding to human need and working to alleviate suffering.

Research Opportunities

Eligibility: Duke undergraduate and graduate students
Application deadline: See below

The Chapel partners with other campus departments and units on research projects related to the Duke Chapel Recordings digital archives. Students are part of these research teams. Current projects include:

Student Preacher

Eligibility: Duke undergraduate students
Application deadline: TBD

Each spring, one Duke undergraduate student is selected to preach in the Duke Chapel Sunday Morning worship service at 11:00 a.m. All undergraduate students are welcome to apply. Sermons should be based upon one or more of the lectionary scripture texts for that Sunday and should be on a topic deemed appropriate to the worship context. The sermon should be eighteen to twenty minutes in length, which is approximately 2200 words. The manuscript should not contain the name of the student submitting the sermon until the final page of the document. Basic criteria for selection include: relevance of the sermon to Scripture passage/s, quality of the sermon draft, and the appropriateness of the sermon’s subject matter for a Chapel service. The selection process may involve finalists delivering their sermon to the selection committee.